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19th Jul 2017

Penalty shootout system causes mass confusion among viewers of preseason friendly

Will take some getting used to

Patrick McCarry

Football fans who may have switched their attentions elsewhere after last season wrapped up had no idea what was going on.

Those of you that were watching the Under 17 European Championships and U20 World Cup will have been well aware of the new penalty shootout system. The other 99.2% of the world were slightly confused.

Uefa and Fifa are going full tilt with their trials for the new shootout system and that includes in preseason friendlies.

As Reuters described, earlier this year, the new system is entitled ABBA. It is designed to prevent ‘the team that goes second from being put at the psychological disadvantage of always having to play catch-up’. Research had previously shown that the team going first has a 60% chance of winning in a shootout situation.

ABBA ensures that, aside from the very first and very last penalties, each team gets two consecutive spot-kicks.

West Brom and 2015/16 Premier League champions Leicester City played out a 1-1 draw in Hong Kong, on Wednesday, and then took part in the new-look shootout. Both sides had no bother adapting to it all and, of the first 10 penalties, only Danny Drinkwater came close to missing – his effort creeping under Ben Foster.

Credit: Sky Sports


While the players got right to it, the new rules meant many fans were taking to Twitter to plead for help:

For the record, Leicester, who went first, won the shoot-out 7-6.

Thanks for nothing ABBA.